Friday, April 1, 2011

Black Beans and Yellow Rice - Go Rams!

If you live in Richmond, the title of this post needs no explanation. But for those of you who don't, our hometown VCU Rams are in the Final Four this weekend! And for those of you who don't know what that means, Final Four = college basketball's Super Bowl :)

The entire city has been black and yellow this week, the Governor even declared today "Black and Yellow" day and check this out - he tweeted a picture of me and my co-workers in our Rams gear!

Yep, there are only 4 of us! And obviously I'm not in Rams gear...I was out of the office at two events yesterday so I missed the message. But I was representing the Race for the Cure so it worked :)

In honor of VCU we wanted to have a black and yellow themed dinner (FYI, neither of us are VCU alum but Ty is a VCU employee so we do have a tie to the school other than it just being the biggest school in Richmond). Black and yellow seemed like weird colors to base your food choices on to me, the thought process went like this:

We need to make a black and yellow meal!
What food is black?
Black beans!
What food is yellow?
Yellow rice!
Black and yellow beans and rice!

I actually had no idea if these would even work together until I Googled it and guess what, apparently black beans and yellow rice are actually pretty popular! And then imagine my surprise when I went over to read Meals and Miles the other night, and looky what they were having for dinner: black beans and yellow rice! I guess the VCU spirit is spreading in the blog world :)

Nico actually does the Googling for me while I'm cooking...

I'm glad I read the instructions on the back of the yellow rice box before I started cooking the chicken, otherwise the chicken definitely would've gotten cold waiting for it to cook.

I have to admit, I didn't attempt to make yellow rice from scratch. We'd had this box in the pantry for a while so I wanted to use it up. We also had black beans but I really had no idea what to do with them. I searched around a little bit and decided just adding a few spices and heating them up would do the trick.

The cinnamon was a totally random addition and that bag is Hungarian paprika brought to me straight from Budapest from my friend and former Komen Central Virginia Board member, Becky Morris, who passed away this past winter from her second recurrence of breast cancer. She was actually at a Komen breast cancer summit in Budapest when she bought this for me. Just another reminder why our fight isn't over yet.

I mixed the spices into the beans (which I drained) and heated them up in a small pot while the rice was cooking. Luckily I was watching the rice carefully, I really don't understand how people cook on low or simmer with a gas stove. Even on the lowest setting, it never got down to what I think is a simmer so the rice cooked about 10 minutes quicker than the instructions said it would. This wasn't a bad thing - I like eating sooner rather than later - but could've resulted in overcooked rice if I didn't have a compulsion to peak at and stir things :)

We went with tacos in addition to the beans and rice. If you haven't bought chicken tenders to cook before, they're a super easy and quick cooking way to eat chicken. All I did was sprinkle them with taco seasoning and cook them in a pan with a little oil.

One thing to note, (vegetarians, skip this part...) there is a tendon (or something) that runs through the middle of the tenders. I used to think this was really weird and I've tried to cut it out before...yeah, you don't need to do that. It results in a bunch of chicken bites and in reality it totally cooks down so you don't bite into it or anything while you're eating. You know I'm weird about biting into things.

Ok vegetarians can rejoin us now :) here is what we ended up with as our VCU portion of the meal:

They look pretty black in this picture but really I was surprised that the black beans weren't really all They were more of a dark brown. Which I thought was interesting because most black beans I've ever had were pretty black.

Anyway...Once the chicken was done we piled it and the beans and rice onto whole wheat tortillas and there you have it, our tribute to VCU:

The Verdict: I think I could do more with the beans but overall this was really good and REALLY easy. It wasn't complete without some of this though:

After dinner I walked upstairs to find this happening...

I think this is the only picture in existence of the three of them together. Hanging out. Not fighting.

"You smell like tacos."

"Yeah, they made tacos and didn't share with us. How rude."

Have you seen that email with a cat's journal and a dog's journal? Here's one version of it. I don't think our boys think like that all the time. Well maybe Basher...


  1. I love yellow rice. I live in Louisiana so I have eaten this a lot. We like to brown some ground meat and mix in with the rice. Looks like a wonderful dish, and thanks for the chicken tip. I too always try to cut out that white strip if I am using the tenders.

  2. That sounds delicious! We'll definitely have to try adding ground meat next time. What part of Louisiana do you live in?

  3. Those tacos look delicious! I'm so sorry that you lost your friend. :(

  4. This is fun, I like the idea to have a color based meal! Too bad you couldn't add green and put some avocados on their, that would take it even to the next level :)

  5. mmm avocados would've been awesome, we'll definitely add those next time!